Category Archives: baby + kid rooms

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a blue and yellow baby nursery for Mae

7th July 2014

A new niece arrived into our lives a few weeks ago – little miss Mae. She is so sweet and cuddly and we are smitten. Her parents’ are Dan’s younger brother, Doug, and his wife, Ginny. They also happen to be some of our besties and live in the same neighbourhood as we do (we talked up the neighbourhood for years to them, so when they finally came back to Ottawa they were sold!). Actually, you might remember Doug and Gin from their Toronto apartment tour back in the day, here.

Anyway, Ginny is a superstar decorator and always makes her places feel beautiful and welcoming. Little Mae’s room was no exception. They didn’t know if they were having a boy or girl, so they did this in a “gender neutral” way (I’m not a big fan of that term… but you get the idea).

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The room was already painted a soft greige colour, and so Ginny added in elements of white, grey, yellow, and robin’s egg blue. A pretty and soothing palette.

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Everything was done by hand. They painted a bunch of furniture (the blue is ‘Provence’ by Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan), sought out vintage-y pieces, and put up cute artwork. Those lace-filled embroidery hoops were actually from Ginny and Doug’s wedding decor!

Oh and most of the “big” pieces in the room (crib, rug, chair, etc) are from IKEA. Just another demonstration that you don’t need a big budget to create a lovely looking space!

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So – remember the vintage frame that I kitted out with wire to hang photographs from a few weeks ago? This guy (see that post here)?

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Well, after I used it for my friend’s seating chart at her wedding (this frame has gotten great use lately! More on that one another time…) – Ginny’s 30th birthday was around the corner and I suddenly realized that the frame might make a really sweet gift for my vintage, rustic chic – loving sister in law.

I had been sent a free pot of the ‘Provence’ Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan, the colour Ginny had used in her nursery, and so decided to give the frame a coat of paint. I knew this was the right paint for this project as it didn’t require all of the sanding and prep that other paint requires – one of the features of the Chalk Paint®. With a crackly vintage frame, this was key. I sanded off anything that was super flaky, but pretty much left it as-is.

The paint was really easy to apply and goes on like butter. Seriously. This stuff is like cream. The blue looks much more vibrant in this photo (outdoor lighting) than it does in real life. The photos of the frame in the nursery are way more true to the colour.

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I did two coats for really good coverage, but I probably could’ve gotten away with just one. I sanded the corners down again a little bit to let some of the wood show through.

There is a second stage in the process when you’re using this paint, and that is to wax the surface (I had a pot of the clear wax). I gather there are special wax brushes you can use, but I just used a rag cloth I had in my paint supplies stash. Worked like a treat.

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I had some 5×5 photos of Ginny, Doug, and Mae printed and popped them into the frame. The great thing about this type of frame is that they can switch out the photos to newer ones of Mae as she grows into a little girl. Maybe even put some of her pieces of artwork in it down the line.

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In terms of a review of the Chalk Paint®, I was pleased. Like I said, it goes on really really smoothly and the coverage is excellent. You really don’t go through a lot of paint. And being able to skip the whole sanding and priming stage is amazing – particularly for older pieces that would require major prep. If you were working with a perfectly smooth, finish-free piece of wood furniture though, I’m not sure that this type of paint would really provide much of an advantage – whether you’re doing chalk paint + wax or regular paint + poly, it’s the same number of steps, and the Chalk Paint® is going to be more expensive. One difference though is the more matte finish that the chalk paint gives - again personal preference, but I dig the un-glossy look. Oh and if you’re into the French antique look, you can get all creative with the dark wax and mixing colours to create all kinds of finishes. That’s kind of what I always associate with Chalk Paint®, but you don’t *have* to go that route (I didn’t). I have yet to try out the paint on a big piece of furniture to see how it wears over a longer period of time, but I’m definitely going to give it a whirl. All in all, I’m digging it.

And the frame? Went over *really well* with Ginny (yay), and it looks like it was meant for the room.

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Sweet nursery, right? What’s your favourite part? Mine are the embroidery hoops and crates on the wall.  

 

Disclaimer: I was sent some Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan for free, but was not required or compensated to write this review. I just thought you’d be interested to hear about my experience using it – all opinions are 100% me. 

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audrey + gem: art prints summer sale

2nd July 2014

It’s Wednesday and it feels like we are only just starting the week. Gotta love that. Dan took Monday off work and had Tuesday off for Canada Day, so we had an extra extra long one. Did some cottaging and lots of relaxing. So lovely. I got some cute photos that I’ll share later this week.

I have been having so much fun creating new art prints for my etsy shop lately. I haven’t had as much time to do any watercolours – seting up, cleaning up, and actually having time to paint means I need at least a couple of hours free (not so easy with a 10 month old!) – so when I can steal 20 or 30 minutes at my computer, I love to get creative digitally instead. And ever since I become a mum, I have been pretty inspired to create prints for nurseries and kids rooms.

Anyway, I thought I would share a few of my newer ones here and also let you all know about a summer sale I am having over at the shop! We’re doing a Buy 2 Get 1 Free promotion. So if you have a baby shower to go to this summer, need a gift for someone, or just want some new artwork for your walls – head on over and pick some up! All prints are $15, so you’ll be getting 3 for $30. There is no coupon code required: Simply tell me in the “message to seller” upon checking out which 3rd print you would like, and I’ll include it with your order.

The latest in my kids collection -

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>> Dream Big

>> Free to be Me

>> Free Spirit

>> Follow your own Path

>> Be adventurous, my darling.

I have been slightly triangle-obsessed, as you can see from this grouping –

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>> F is for Finn

>> Be Brave

>> And though she be but little, she is fierce.

>> Love you (in turquoise – other colours available!)

The vintage watercolour florals are sweet and summery –

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>> Red poppies

>> Deep purple floral

>> Light purple floral

>> “Hello Lovely” floral

And there are still the watercolour maps, watercolour animals, and other prints as always in the shop.

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Head on over to check them out! And don’t forget about the promo – Buy 2, get 1 free (let me know in the “Message to seller” upon checkout which 3rd (and free!) print you would like). Happy browsing!

DIY letter via the sweetestdigs

DIY monogram door letter

2nd June 2014

One little project I have been wanting to do ever since Maya was born was to find a letter ‘M’ to put on the outside of her door – you know, one of those DIY monogram door letters. It’s not like in our wee little house there was any question as to which room was hers (ha – we have 3 interior doors – total!), but I liked the idea of marking her room in some way. And plus, once we (hopefully) have our bigger pad, she will have more of a room all to herself – and not sharing with our small office.

I had been looking out for a big letter ready for crafting with. I didn’t really love any of the ‘M’s at Michael’s (my usual go-to place for craft supplies), so when I saw this one at Walmart I knew it was the one. It wasn’t a “frilly” font, was a good size, and a great price at only $2 on clearance.

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I was trying to decide how I wanted to embellish it. I thought about a painting it to appear like a burnished aluminum, straight black, ribbon, etc. but then I was in my room I noticed this scarf that I have. I love the tribal-like pattern on it and thought that I could take this as inspiration and apply it to the letter.DSC_0068

I decided to go with a light grey as a background colour – the white letter itself was a bit marked, so I wanted a layer of paint on it before I applied the pattern. Then I lightly drew on the pattern free-handed. I wasn’t too careful or copied the scarf exactly, but I liked where I ended up.DSC_0066

Since this will go on a plain white door, and as it’s for a kids room, I went bold with the colours. I started with pink and aqua from the existing decor in Maya’s room, and then added in a darker turquoise and bright orange. It’s vibrant and fun, I think. DSC_0228

Nothing is too perfect, but I like the hand painted look to it. DSC_0225

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To finish it off, I sprayed it with a clear top coat to keep it protected from chipping and fading. I haven’t actually added two little hooks on the back yet to hang it from a door, but I’ll post a pic when I do! DIY letter via the sweetestdigs

It was nice to get a little crafty again. I have been jonesing to do some creative stuff lately – with the travel and packing up our house – any DIY stuff has gone on the back burner. I already have another project on the go, so hopefully I am getting back into my groove again.

Have you ever put any letter or signage on the doors in your pad? I love a good vintage bathroom sign, or decal. 

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brittany’s baby book crate

15th January 2014

I don’t usually have guest bloggers, but when Brittany (a fellow Ottawa gal) got in touch about her latest project – I couldn’t resist! Brittany is a local photographer – you can check out her photography site/blog here (she even throws in a DIY every now and again, like this nail art - totally adorbs). She is sharing her book crate today, which she made as a baby shower gift. Over to you, B…

 

Hey there fellow The Sweetest Digs readers! I’m excited to be guest blogging a little DIY project for you today. Although photography is my thing, DIYing is definitely a close second.

A friend of mine recently had her first baby. His name is Oliver and he is an endless pile of adorable-ness. She is a pretty amazing woman and she is a spectacular Momma Bear.

I was trying to figure out what to get for the little guy, and since she has Toys R Us rage burning deep inside of her – she didn’t have a typical baby registry. So I decided instead to make Oliver a little crate for books and personalize it just for him.

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I fought the temptation to fill the crate with the Twilight books… I will probably wait until Ollie is older and will appreciate the literacy masterpiece that is the Twilight saga. (Please read the previous sentence with a sarcastic tone while at the same time accepting the fact that I have indeed read the Twilight series… now try not to judge).

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I made the base and two sides of the crate with a 1×8 knotty pine board. I used a 1×3 for the pieces along the front and back. I cut the base piece 12 inches long and the side pieces slightly shorter at 10 inches. You can easily do this project without any big tool – I just used my hand saw instead of getting out my circular saw.  

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I know what you are thinking…. and yes I always wear my Michael Kors watch while working with tools, I feel like it gives a good balance to the paint splattered baseball t-shirt. Sometimes you need a little bling to class up the garage.

(Again… that last sentence needs to be read sarcastically)

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We sanded down all of the boards so that the edges and corners were smooth. (Not exactly a rocket-science idea since it is for a baby… but I still thought I should mention it)

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Once all the pieces were ready to go I measured out the holes for the side handles. I bought the handles in the hardware section at Home Depot and the screws they came with were the right depth for my board. I pre-drilled the holes for the handles (but didn’t actually put the handles on) and then assembled the rest of the box.

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I gave it two coats of Winwax Special Walnut and once it was dried I added the handles and got ready to paint.

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I printed ‘OLIVER’ off the computer and coloured in the back of the letters with a pencil. Then I laid the stencil along the front 1×3 and traced around the outline of the letters with a pen. This transferred the pencil from the back of the paper onto the board. And Viola! I had an outline to paint.

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I did two coats of the paint and let it dry over night. In the morning I sanded over the name very lightly with a 320 grit sandpaper. It just gave it a bit more worn look which I liked.

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Big thanks for letting me hang out with you today. Feel free to check out my Blog over at www.BsmythPhotography.blogspot.com

Happy DIYing!

Brittany

How cute is that? Wouldn’t that be just the best baby shower gift? Love it. Thanks a million, Brittany. It was such a pleasure having you pop by the blog! What about you guys? What do you do for book storage in your place? Ever DIY’d a baby gift?

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beautiful books: using IKEA spice racks as bookshelves

12th November 2013

Even though we had finished our nursery makeover before Maya arrived in August, there was one project that remained on the to-do list: some bookshelves. There remained a blank wall between the doorway and the closet that was the perfect spot for some slim bookshelves (the area to the left of the closet which you can see in the pic below).

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When I helped design my friends’ nursery last year (check it out here), we used IKEA spice racks as bookshelves andI loved the way they came out. Easy to assemble and paint, and it’s nice to have the books facing outwards. Cute, right?

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Well, I knew these would be the perfect solution for our little sliver of wall – the narrow profile was going to be just right. So I made a trip to IKEA a few weeks ago to grab four ‘Bekvam’ racks at $7 a pop, and pulled out some spray paint that I already had on hand. I started off with a layer of primer, and then did quite a few coats of a flat white. I did end up doing a light sand between coats with a fine grit paper to get the racks more smooth. They really soaked up the paint, so be ready to do quite a few thin coats (5 or 6, maybe?).
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The back is all ready to be mounted to the wall, but you need to have your own mounting hardware.
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We used one of Maya’s bigger board books as a guide for how much space we wanted between the shelves (14 inches). We centered the shelves on the wall, and placed them so that they would be low enough for Maya to grab at when she’s a bit bigger.
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The light switch was in a weird spot, but I didn’t want the shelves to be off-centered on the wall, so we just made sure that the switch would come between two of the shelves and still be easily accessible.
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Then I popped in some of little miss Maya’s books – all ready to go for bedtime stories.
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Sorry about the bad lighting in these photos. It was overcast here this weekend (we even got our first snowfall!), so not much natural light coming in from the window.DSC_1132

The design of the spice rack really is perfect for holding books up. I kept it to 4-5 books per shelf, but there is still plenty of space to add a few more books per shelf if I decide to.DSC_1133

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It’s so nice to have some of the books out of our big basket and up on the wall. Aren’t books just the best? If we had a really huge room, I would have loved to do bookshelves across a whole wall. Whatever the colour or size, I just think they make a room look cozy, don’t you?

Have you guys done this spice-rack-as-shelves trick? Do you display lots of books in your home? Are you bedtime readers? Do you have a favourite children’s book?

Linked up to Living Well Spending Less, The BrambleBerry Cottage, the DIY Dreamer

project nursery: before + after

29th July 2013

So almost three months ago we started the switch over from office/guest bedroom to nursery/office. One of those slow and steady makeovers, and I’m happy to report that a week before our baby girl is due we can call this one done-zo.

Let’s take a little trip back at this room, shall we? Here it is in it’s crazy turquoise glory, full of mis-matched leftover University furniture that we shoved in here when we first moved in. I think it stayed like this for the first 6 months or so of owning our pad.

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Then we did a bit of a makeover – keeping the same general layout, but changing out the wall colour, DIY’ing a desk, creating a headboard, and better storage solutions.

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Then when it came time to change up the purpose of this room, I happily got to tackle it again. I think it might now be my favourite room in the house!

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I’m really happy with the way the colour scheme came out. Lots of white to keep it feeling bright and airy, but strong hits of pink, yellow, mint (and a smattering of gold!) make it all kinds of playful. And the subtle grey in the wallpaper and window frame add a nice additional neutral layer. I wasn’t too concerned about things matching exactly as I was putting the room together, and I think that eclectic vibe works well in here.

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I’m also pleased with the layout. We struggled a bit with how best to configure the room, and in the end, this scheme really worked best. We were able to get a nice long dresser in to serve as a changing table and major storage area, but left enough room to squeeze in that little desk. Dan has already spent a fair bit of time sitting at the computer there and says that the space is just fine for him. The chair has just enough room to pull out, and we keep the screen on a bit of an angle so that it’s user-friendly. DSC_0441

Removing the closet door and making the closet curtain definitely saved us a bunch of space, as it meant we didn’t have to leave enough room to have a door swing open. Plus, it adds some nice pattern to the room and I actually find the curtain is super accessible – grabbing clothes and diapers from in there will be nice and easy!
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The artwork is a jumble of photos and personal pieces, which makes it extra special for us. I’m not sure how long the little gold lamp will last there once this gal gets to be big and kick-y, but we can always move it over to the desk if need be. The laundry basket and garbage bin both tuck in nicely on either side of the dresser, keeping things close by.DSC_0449

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One thing we don’t have in here that I know lots of people have in nurseries in a comfy chair of some kind – like a glider or rocker. Frankly, we just don’t have the space. Since we live on one floor, if I need to sit in a chair at night, I’ll just go out to the living room. It’s about 8 steps away, so not a huge deal. You win some, you lose some, right?DSC_0438

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One other thing we have yet to install are the blackout blinds we have for the window. There wasn’t really room for curtains, and although I tossed around the idea of doing a roman blind, frankly I just got a little lazy and bought a very discrete blackout blind from a big box store. Since the baby will be sleeping in a bassinet in our room for the first little while, it hasn’t been high on the priority list… but we’ll get on that one soon.

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You can’t do a before + after post without the side by side collages, right? nursery- before and after collage2

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There is just so much cheeriness to this room now. I’m totally smitten.

The budget came in well under on this makeover. We had projected $1000, but with so many good deals (crib, desk, dresser!), using items and supplies we already owned, and DIY’ing our little hearts out, it meant we came in at $560. Here is the budget breakdown:

  • paint (walls, closet, dresser, window trim): $0 (already owned from previous projects)
  • desk: $115
  • wallpaper: $0 (complimentary from Chasing Paper)
  • dresser: $80
  • crib: $175
  • spray paint (gold, 2 cans): $20
  • rug: $30
  • laundry basket: $20
  • frames, artwork, garbage bin, shelving, etc: $0 (already owned)
  • ribbon for garland: $30
  • crib sheet, change table pad and cover: $0 (received as gifts)
  • fabric for closet curtain, rod, hardware: $45
  • felt and embroidery thread for mobile: $10
  • artwork: $10 (for gift wrap paper and printing photos – rest were already owned)
  • baby velvet hangers: $25

TOTAL: $560

 

And just in case you missed any of the steps or projects along the way, here are the links to all of the nursery related posts:

 

Source List

  • paint colours: walls are in an off-the-shelf white from Sico brand, pink was a mistint from Home Depot
  • dresser: found used on Kijiji
  • desk: Micke from IKEA
  • wallpaper: Chasing Paper (link)
  • crib: Sundvik from IKEA
  • laundry basket: HomeSense
  • chevron rug: HomeSense
  • frames: white ones are Ribba from IKEA, gold ones were garage sale finds
  • crib sheet: Pottery Barn (link)
  • closet curtain fabric: Amy Butler Love Water Bouquet in Mint (link)
  • chalkboard print in gallery wall: audrey + gem etsy shop (link)
  • light fixture – DIY tutorial here

 

And that’s it! Just in the nick of time to welcome this little girl to the world. Happy mama over here!

**This post has been linked up to East Coast Creative’s Crafting with the Stars series!**

project nursery: finishing details

26th July 2013

Alright, we’re in the last stretch of project nursery! Here are some of the little details – none of which really required a separate post – so I just sort of jammed them into one.

After I had painted the room a crisp white and installed my Chasing Paper polka dot wallpaper (love!), I knew I wanted to do a little something with the window frame. It was just kind of getting lost in the sea of white.

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So I taped off the trim, broke out some grey paint I had leftover from other projects, and gave the frame two coats. DSC_0931

And all of a sudden, this window totally became a feature of the room. It seems bigger somehow, and definitely adds a little something dynamic to the space. Plus, tying into the grey and white wallpaper on the other wall helps it all look more cohesive, too.DSC_0423

And you know I got pretty happy with the gold spray paint (like on this little lamp, and on some picture frames), but I didn’t stop there. This silver garbage can was screaming for a little gold-i-fying.DSC_1049

See? I had a little gold spray factory going on here. Sorry for the fumes, neighbours! DSC_1057

And the shelves that I wanted to put above the desk also got the gold treatment. The shelves and brackets were the same ones that had been in this room previously (back when it was an office/guest bedroom), so I just gave the brackets a shot of gold, and the shelves a coat of white paint (hubby cut them down to size and did the install – love that goofy guy). The brackets are from IKEA, and the shelves were just wood purchased from Home Depot.

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Because we’re pretty tight on space in our pad, we needed to use these shelves for some office storage that we weren’t able to re-locate elsewhere. Some magazine files and boxes from IKEA (all of which we already owned), did the trick. Plus I threw in a few little pieces of artwork, some vintage children’s books, and my old music box.

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Oh and the rug. So back when I was planning the nursery, I had included our green trellis rug from the living room — you can check it out in my original moodboard here. Well, once we moved it over to the space (and after we had already bought the new neutral guy for the living room), we realized the dimensions just weren’t quite right. It did fit the room (I hadn’t totally flubbed on the measuring), but we didn’t want it under the desk, and didn’t like that it stretched almost the entire length of the room. See what I mean?DSC_0962

Soooo… when I spotted this yellow and white chevron guy at HomeSense for less than $30, I was sold. The dimensions worked, I liked the idea of injecting a little bit of sunny yellow, and it’s super thin and easy to keep clean (it’s a flatweave).

DSC_0440So that just about wraps up the nursery projects. Full before + after photos to come on Monday. Holla!

What’s going on in your neck of the woods lately? Getting close to finishing up any room makeovers yourself? Doing any spray painting or window frame painting? Got any sweet plans for the weekend? I want to hear about ‘em!

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project nursery: a gallery wall

17th July 2013

Progress on the nursery has been pretty steady going. We just have a few small details to get to that finish line!

I had hinted before that I wanted to do a gallery wall above the pink + gold dresser that I refinished. It was a great big blank piece of white wall – perfect for a mish mash of frames.

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My first step in creating a gallery wall is to always take stock of my frame situation. In this case, I had some leftover white IKEA frames (the Ribba series) and had purchased a couple of silver frames from a garage sale for a buck a piece.

The silver frames got taken apart and given a coat of gold spray paint – the same stuff I used on the little lamp.

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Then I cut some wrapping paper to the size of each of my frames, and laid them out on the floor. I played around with the arrangement until I came to a pattern I liked, and then transferred it up onto the wall. The one space in the bottom right corner that’s empty was for a canvas (I just held up the canvas so I knew the spacing was right, instead of cutting a piece of paper for it). When it came time to hang, we just took off each sheet and hammered them in as we went – that way you get the placement just right.

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Then it was just a matter of filling the frames with artwork. This is where you can totally personalize a gallery wall – fill it with photos, a favourite piece of artwork, some DIY artwork, postcards, pretty paper, sheet music, whatever! There are so many artwork ideas out there – you really can’t go wrong.

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For our wall, I wanted a mixture of things. In the top middle frame I took a page out of a calendar I had bought ages ago and had been stashing in my “someday make this into art” box. I liked the yellow, the elephant, and the cute saying (“a smile is a curve that sets everything straight”).

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Then I grabbed some really pretty gift wrap paper for the two other square white frames. I had actually picked this stuff up at a paper shop in Chelsea Market when we were in New York City and brought it home… as carry-on on the plane – hello, crazy lady!

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I popped a few of our recent maternity photos into three of the other frames.

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A winnie-the-pooh print from an old book made it into one of the small gold frames. This had been a gift from my Mum – I think she found them on a trip in England. Winnie the pooh is a bit of a family love, so it has some sentimental attachment for me. Next to it is the “everything grows better with love” chalkboard print from my own little etsy shop.

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And lastly, a canvas I painted in the colours of the room made it in. I wanted something original up there, and signed the back of it with a little note to my sweet baby girl.

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And that’s it! A gallery wall always adds so much personality to a room, and I’m super happy with how this one came out. I think the key here was to mix up the frames (white + gold) and the style of artwork, but to keep the gallery fairly rectangular and with mostly large frames. Sometimes gallery walls with frames that are too small get a little too busy or things just get lost, you know what I mean?

In terms of the other stuff on the dresser, we have a change pad with cover (both from Babies R Us), the little gold lamp that we had spray painted, and a basket for diapers and wipes. Simple, but it works.   DSC_0397

Have you guys done a gallery wall lately? Into gold frames like I am? I used to be a purely black and white frame kind of gal, but gold has totally won me over lately. It’s just so warm and pretty, you know? Have you used a dresser as a change table? Any tips about what you do and don’t need on there?

project nursery: a DIY raindrop mobile

8th July 2013

What would a baby’s room be without a mobile, right? As you could guess, I was itching to DIY something. I did some thinking about the theme of the room and gave myself a good helping of inspiration from other people’s projects on Pinterest.

My two starting points: I knew I wanted to do the stick idea after I saw my sister-in-law’s versions for her kiddos (see them in their house tour here), and also knew that I wanted something that had some sort of rainbow element going on. I was a rainbow freak as a kid – my parents’ always talk about how I would churn out rainbow drawings on the daily. You’d think I grew up in a rainbow factory of something.

When I saw some cute felt mobiles on Pinterest, I was inspired. There were cute hot air balloon versions, ones with animals, but considering my sewing skills are pretty rudimentary, I liked the simplicity of the clouds and raindrops. Here is my version.

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First up was to grab a bunch of felt. I picked up various sheets from Michael’s – dark and light pink, yellow, grey, and white. I could have done all of the actual rainbow colours, but I felt like it might be a little overkill. Keeping it to a few colours in the scheme of the room seemed more cohesive. Oh, and felt is super cheap – I think it was either 49 or 99 cents a sheet?DSC_1042

I started with my raindrops. I didn’t pay too much attention to how many of each colour I was doing – I just started cutting and sewing. DSC_1043

I put two sheets of the same colour on top of one another, and then just free-handed cutting the raindrops. Some are a little smaller than the others, some have wonky sides, but I figured it would just add to the imperfect handmade effect.DSC_1044

Next up was to sew the two pieces of each raindrop together. I used embroidery thread and a big needle (again both from Michael’s). Since I wanted groups of 3-4 hanging on pieces of string (which I would later hang from the clouds), I threaded the long piece of string down between the two pieces of the raindrop, and then sewed around it.
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Then once I got to the next raindrop I would thread it onto the same piece of string, and sew that one. Once I had 3 or 4 raindrops on the piece of string, I moved on to the next.

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The clouds. Again same method – I free handed these with two sheets of felt on top of one another.
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Just like the raindrops, I sewed around the perimeter. Once I got almost the whole way around, I grabbed my batting (I had it leftover from old projects) and stuffed the clouds. Once they were stuffed, I just finished sewing up the edges. DSC_0176

Three clouds, six raindrop strings, and a big stick, I laid everything out for the assembly. The stick I had found on a walk, and my lovely mama gave it a good sanding so all the gnarly bits came off and it became nice and smooth.DSC_0177

To attach the raindrops to the clouds, I sewed the piece of string up into the bottom of the cloud, tied a knot in it, and cut the excess. In the pic below, you can see that the string on the right has been tied and cut, and the one on the left has just been sewn through.DSC_0180

Then I also needed to somehow sew the bottom of each raindrop string into the bottom raindrop (so that you wouldn’t have raindrops just falling off the string – make sense?). I double-backed the loose string into where the raindrop had been sewn before. I did this almost all the way around again so it was nice and sturdy, tied a knot and tucked the remaining string back into the inside of the raindrop.
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Some string loops on the clouds to hang it from the stick, and I was finito. Cute, right?DSC_0193

Sweet hubs came in and got up on the chair to screw in the hangers from the ceiling. They are just those little metal loops that are pretty inconspicuous and easy to install.DSC_0337

I ran some thick ribbon through the loops, and then tied off each piece on the stick.

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I love the sort of rustic but sweet vibe it has going on. And the stuffed clouds make it more dimensional, which is fun.DSC_0339

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I think it’ll be pretty fun to look up to from the crib, don’t you?!DSC_0342

So, mobile: check! Sorry for the lack of wide-angle shots of the room, but we’re in that final stage of finishing things up when everything looks a bit crazy before it looks better… know what I mean?

Have you guys DIY’d any mobiles before? I have also done this one using paintchips for my sweet godson, and apparently he has loved staring up at the different colours. In other news, did you have a good weekend? We saw the Dixie Chicks at an Ottawa outdoor festival on Saturday night – SO much fun. Baby Sprout was dancing away in my belly the whole time! 

project nursery: a no-sew closet curtain

2nd July 2013

You may have noticed in the last nursery post, a glimpse at the new closet door we have in there. Well, a closet curtain actually. We started out with a door on the closet, but quickly realized that to maximize the space in there and get a nice long dresser along the far wall, we were going to have to lose the door (there wasn’t enough room for it to swing in and out). I have always liked the look of closet curtains, and they are pretty great for closets you have to access a lot.

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So while my handy hubs took the door off, I got to work on putting together a curtain panel. This Amy Butler fabric (called ‘Love Water Bouquet’) had been on my original moodboard, and when I received it from Fabric.com, I knew it was the right choice. It has a nice dose of minty green, with a little pink thrown in. And the florals are just so pretty. Amy Butler always knows how to do sweet fabric, in my opinion.

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Making a no-sew curtain panel is super easy.

First you want to cut the fabric to size after it has been pre-washed. Cutting is totally a personal preference thing – I like the curtain to graze the floor, but not puddle much. I wanted there to be a nice amount of pleating in the fabric when it was closed, so I cut it at double the width of the closet. Be sure to leave a few inches extra on all four sides for hemming.

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Now for the hemming part.

Step 1: One side at a time, fold and iron down the hem (usually about an inch thick).

Step 2: Put the heat ‘n bond hemming tape in place, along the underside of the hem. You can grab hemming tape at just about any crafts/sewing store. I like to use the heavy duty stuff just to make sure it really holds up.

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Step 3: Fold the hem over the tape and iron over the whole thing. You want to really give it a good ironing so that the tape has fused well with the fabric. It can be a bit slow-going, so it’s good to do this in front of a TV show or something. My personal recommendation is Bachelorette. Ha! On that note, was anyone else was a little bummed that Juan Pablo didn’t get a rose last night?

Back to the curtain. Once you have done all four sides, you’re finished! Time to hang up the curtain.

We installed a piece of dowel (it was unfinished wood that I sprayed white) on the inside edges of the door frame with some brackets – all from the Home Depot. I wanted to use the clip-on curtain rings for a few reasons – one is that they slide super easily, so it’s great for a curtain you need to open and close often, and secondly, I felt like they are a bit safer for the babe. If she pulls on the curtain, the curtain will just come out of the clips instead of the whole bar crashing down.

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I’m definitely pleased with how it turned out. I like the injection of colour and pattern into the room, and it really functions well. Although I love all of the sweet clothes and other baby things in the closet, it’s nice to get it all hidden!

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DSC_0299So we can check that one off the list. Holla! Time for a gallery wall, shelves, and mobile. Watch out nursery – you’re gettin’ finished.

Happy Canada Day, guys! Did you have a good long weekend? Hope so!  Done any no-sew curtains lately? Seriously, it’s way less scary than breaking out the sewing machine (well, for the non-sewers in the house!)?